The year is 1955 and DC Comics prints Superman #100. On the cover are four different Superman covers including the 1st Superman comic cover. The art or pencils are by Joe Shuster and script by the team Woolfolk, Miller, Finger, and Boltinoff. In 1955: Gunsmoke debuts on CBS television network, James Dean dies in a car accident; the Brooklyn Dodgers win the World Series, and DC prints Superman’s hundredth issue.
Fast forward to 2017, and this Golden Age book Superman #100 has seen a meteoric rise “faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive!” It is ranked #2 for most popular Golden Age books (GoCollect). Furthermore, it has leaped 297 spots to that #2 ranking, just below Mad #1.
Maybe the catalyst, in this case, is its rarity due to the era. Though some of the attention is possibly due to the reincarnation of Superman in the first Justice League movie. Also, the price point for this book is still affordable. The 100th of anything of that era is collectible, and in this case last month a grade 4.0 sold for $340 (GoCollect). While this is not cheap, it is reasonable compared to early Golden Age books around the same decade, and you get a cover of the first Superman.
Bottom line, this is a great collectible piece and happens to be at the top of the ranking currently. The current status of Superman #100 is based on only 19 sales records, and it is showing a steep rise over a six month period. One of the things we like to see is staying power in a speculation, and this has it. In the final analysis, this book will probably keep spinning up. I suggest buying a readable copy, say 2.0 current price on eBay $150.
Double Cover Dollars
Rarity drives price for most back issue collections, not the least of which is the Holy Grail of finding a double cover, an actual rare experience. My anecdotal evidence: I was recently buying an old Swamp Thing #5. I got home and was in the process of switching bags. (On a side note: I hope most of you are doing this as comic stores tend to have old comics stored the way they originally purchased them, in plastic bags. Usually, only their low-end readable copies say 4.0 to 7.5 or so. Swap those bags conserve with inert containers, no plastic.) Low and behold, I find a: double cover! Immediately I ran back to the store to ask about this seeming oddity. Their response, “Lucky for you buddy! Did you know when you send that comic into CGC they will use whichever cover has the highest grade? Furthermore, typically a double cover is pristine inside. The outside cover has taken most of the damage. Nicely done we are jealous.”
I thought about this as I walked out of the comic store, and realized I probably needed to check a good chunk of my inventory just to be sure. My next submission to CGC will have this issue in the bunch. An early Bronze Age comic with a double cover has a chance to hit 9.0 or even higher, even if the outside is slightly damaged. Keep your eyes peeled for a double cover. You can look them up online, but the best way to find them is reviewing any comics you haven’t read already in your collection. It should be noted, several second cover comics, sold in the 1990’s as a gimmick; this is not what you want. You want actual misprints, not marketing ploys. Try and stick to early 80’s and below for real double cover treasure in the comic book speculation world.
GoCollect is looking for writers to speculate on comic collecting and investing. Check out jobs page to learn more.